A young student from Indiana University who was fatally shot in Brooklyn on Saturday, October 24, by a stray bullet was on his “dream trip” to New York, his father Jason Williams said. The grieving father also told The New York Post that he would like to tell the shooters of Ethan Williams that his son “has already forgiven them”. According to reports, the victim, a 20-year-old college student from Indianapolis, was enjoying his holiday with friends in New York when he was killed. Ethan was sitting on his Airbnb’s stoop with his group when the stray bullet struck him in the chest around 2:30 am. Police said that the shooting was not targeted at Ethan and his friends as it was fired over 200 feet away. The weapon was also left at the scene by the hitman, law enforcement sources told The Post.
“Ethan would have wanted the shooter to know he’s already forgiven them. He would have wanted to be his friend,” Jason said, adding his son was always into good work and helping others. The father said when his son was in high school, he did missionary work with orphans in Rwanda. At that time, he also launched an LGBTQ club, despite not being gay, since he did not like to see his classmates getting bullied. “It’s hard to express how much he loved everybody. He did not know a stranger,” Jason stated.
According to his father, Ethan had this feeling of love and sympathy for others from a very young age. When he was just a third-grader, he took a stand for another child pushed around on their school bus as he told his parents, “I don’t like to see other kids marginalized.” Jason also said that the young man, who was a sophomore in the film media program at Indiana University, “wanted people’s stories to be told,” and was considering pursuing a career in journalism. “He said people shouldn’t be defined by their worst moments. He wanted to make the world a better place,” the dad added.
Jason said that Ethan was “obsessed” with New York after watching ‘Spider-Man’ and dreamed of going there someday. So this year when he was stressed out by his studies, he took a trip to his “dream” place to spend time with his best friends. “He was so excited to see New York. He wanted to meet people like he’d seen on TV,” the father mentioned. The victim along with his friends came down to the city on Thursday, October 22, and had planned to be in the city till Monday, October 26, but fate had something else in its store. “They felt like they were grown ups and they found this place and felt they’d be fine. It was just wrong place, wrong time,” Jason said.
Meanwhile, the devastated family of Ethan has issued a statement urging people to come forward if they have any information about the shooting of “our beautiful son”. The statement read, “If he had the opportunity to say something to the shooter, we know that he would invite him for a cup of coffee and ask to hear their story. He would forgive without delay. Ethan always saw beyond the surface and took the time to help others feel seen, important and loved. The family appreciates the outpouring of support. We ask for privacy while we grieve and focus on figuring out what the world will look like without Ethan.”